Affiliate Marketing Jargon: Glossary of Terms

There are a lot of terms used in the affiliate marketing that could confuse non-affiliate marketers and even unseasoned affiliate marketers. Some of these terms are borrowed from the financial world of business, while others are strictly from the world of affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing terms are exhaustive, and new ones seem to creep up every day as the business of affiliate marketing grows. The glossary of terms presented here carries some of the most common terms out there: it is not an A-Z list of terms, but it will be a good introduction for the new affiliate marketing person or the interested layman. A list of commonly used abbreviations is also outlined.

Marketing Jargon

Affiliate Marketing: Terms Explained 

Advertiser: also called the merchant, the advertiser is the company or individual that produces products and/or services that affiliates promote.

Affiliate: this is the person who promotes products and/or services for an advertiser. In return, they get a commission or compensation for the sale made or lead generated.

Affiliate Link: this is a link given to the affiliate by the advertiser that is embedded with a unique tracking code to enable the advertiser to track the sales or leads the affiliate has generated.

Affiliate Program: this is an arrangement where the advertiser gets people (affiliates) to refer customers to their products and/or services. In exchange, the affiliates get a commission if the customer makes a sale.

Associate: another term for affiliate, as in, associate program

Banner Ad: this is a graphical advertisement that an affiliate places on their blog or website to promote a product or service.

Chargeback: this refers to a sale falling through, or a product being returned by a customer, that the affiliate marketer has already been paid for. If this happens, the advertiser deducts the amount they have paid the affiliate for that sale from their commissions.

Commission: this is the fee an advertiser pays an affiliate for generating a sale.

Conversion: this means getting a customer to make the desired action, like buying a product or service, signing up for emails, or filling out an opt-in form.

Conversion Rate: this is the percentage an affiliate gets after dividing the total amount of sales a link has gotten, by the number of impressions that link has had, multiplied by 100. The conversion rate is used to show how often an affiliate link has generated sales compared to how often the link has been viewed.

Cookies: in affiliate marketing, these are used to give an ID to a visitor that has clicked on an affiliate link to go to the advertiser’s website. The cookies are assigned for a specific period of time. If the visitor returns within that period, the affiliate marketer will be paid for the sale, whether the visitor uses that link again or not.

Customer Bounty: this is another term for commission

Data Feed: this is a file containing lists of all the products an advertiser sells, including prices, images of products, descriptions, and affiliate links for the products.

Disclosure: this is a notice on an affiliate’s website or blog, notifying visitors that the affiliate is being compensated or paid for recommendations, endorsements, and advertisements of a product and/or service on their website or blog.

Email link: this is an affiliate link specifically made for email promotions

Impression: this refers to the number of times an ad is shown on a page

Merchant: this is another term for the advertiser. A merchant may be more often used than an advertiser.

Niche: a specific topic, for example, if you have a site about yoga, your niche is yoga. On a more general level, your niche is health and wellbeing.

Marketing Jargon

Affiliate Marketing: Abbreviations

Sometimes, abbreviations are simpler, and easier, to use than the full forms of some terms, like WHO. This is not any different in the affiliate marketing world. This list of abbreviations is mostly self-explanatory. Some of them, however, are explained to make it easier for new affiliate marketers, as some of them refer to affiliate network companies or bodies, while some have bounced around the internet for so long that everyone is at least familiar with them.

Ad – advertisement

AM – affiliate manager

AOV – average order value

AW – Affiliate Window: the first and largest affiliate network in the UK, owned by Digital Window Ltd.

B2B – business to business: business arrangements that occur between businesses, like wholesalers selling to retailers.

B2C – business to customer: business arrangements that occur between businesses and customers.

BHO – browser helper object

Bot – robot

CAC – customer acquisition cost

CJ – Commission Junction Affiliate Network: a major affiliate network company, with branches in the US, the UK, Germany, Sweden, et cetera.

CPA – cost per action

CPC – cost per click

CPL – cost per lead

CPO – cost per order

CPS – cost per sale

CTR – click-through rate, or click-through ratio

EPC – earnings per click

GAN – Google Affiliate Network: formerly known as DoubleClick Performics, it was acquired by Google, and is one of the largest affiliate networks in North America.

LP – landing page

PPL – pay per lead

PPS – pay per sale

PPV – pay per view

ROAS – return on advertising spending

ROI – return on investment

SEM – search engine marketing

SEO – search engine optimisation

SERP – search engine results page

SID – shopper ID, sometimes called session ID: something affiliates add to their tracking links to so as to know which links generated which lead or sale.

TOS – terms of service

URL – Uniform Resource Locator: the global address of an Internet source on the web.

UV – unique visitor: a label given to a visitor who visits a certain site several times within a specific period.

This list by no means covers all the affiliate marketing lingo out there, but it is an informative start. This will give any new affiliate marketer the basic knowledge they need to start out in affiliate marketing and let them understand what they are hearing and reading about when they stumble across and interesting blog or article on affiliate marketing.

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